What COVID-19 Business Process Changes Came to Your Firm?
1. Fine-tuned the event process
We have fine-tuned our event process. Our firm had a long-standing tradition of live events. With all the PPP activity and related conversation, we pivoted to our first series of live videos, which were more successful than we could have imagined. The process for planning, executing and following up on these has been refined to maximize our opportunity with each one. We are paying attention to the registration list, and tracking and sorting in new ways to gain greater insights about who we are engaging. Our follow-up process has been enhanced and closely tied to the firm’s pipeline system. These are simple modifications but have been a game-changer, resulting in more quality post-event conversations and engagements.
Denise Asker, director of marketing and practice growth, Clayton & McKervey, Southfield, Michigan
2. Formalized legislative alert process
We’ve formalized our legislative alert process for our newsletters. We have a designated partner who helps our marketing department craft an initial newsletter draft, then two marketing associates review the content for grammar and formatting. We then put the content into our email blast platform and send it to a small internal committee for final review. In the wake of constant COVID-19 legislative changes, this has led to a quicker turnaround for client alerts and a clearer chain of command. Since COVID-19 began, we’ve sent 14 legislative and related email blasts. We’ve seen our click-through rate increase by 4%.
Allie Donahue, marketing manager, Bennett Thrasher LLP, Atlanta
3. Formed an internal response team
EisnerAmper quickly put together an internal response team to field the large number of questions we were receiving. As the PPP loan evolved, we came across many entities that were not receiving the support they needed from their existing accountants. We knew it was critical to follow up with these leads quickly as there was a high likelihood that they were posing their questions to other firms, too. Our goal was to respond within an hour. One company felt the guidance they were receiving wasn’t accurate and they wanted another opinion. We addressed their PPP concerns, but also talked about their overall tax position and other potential areas for improvement. After two calls, they agreed to bring their business to EisnerAmper.
Brian C. Friedman, CPA, CITP, director, EisnerAmper, New York
4. Considered new topics for COVID-19 related communications
Marks Paneth launched a committee in March to review pandemic-related communications and consider new topics. This collaborative effort of industry and service line leaders results in efficient and streamlined communications. We also launched a Pandemic Resource Center – an online repository of thought leadership related to COVID-19. It includes client alerts; a COVID-19 services brochure highlighting the pandemic-related services we offer; federal, state and local alerts and updates; and much more. At its peak in April, our website traffic nearly doubled from the month before.
Diane Paoletta, CPA, MBA, chief marketing officer, Marks Paneth LLP, New York
5. Made the shift to digital
We shifted to all digital marketing programs within a week after COVID-19 struck and compelled us to find some creative solutions. We had sponsored several conferences that were turned into virtual conferences. Where we once had a table and opportunity to meet people in-person, we now had a virtual directory ad. My team decided they would be dynamic ads with a link for a call to action — a registration for a webinar two to three weeks after the directory was distributed. The topic was geared toward the conference audience, and we had a tremendous response. Our targeted webinars have garnered good attendance and several new leads and clients from people who attended the webinar live or watched it on our website.
Diane Walsh, chief marketing officer, Prager Metis CPAs, New York
Want to read more about COVID-19 business process changes? Read the full story in the Fall 2020 issue of Growth Strategies.
About Richard Shippee
Richard is the president of Richard Shippee Communications. He provides Marketing and Corporate Communication services to accounting firms and other professional services companies.